We did it!!! We finally did it!!!!
That's right, this week for the first time in 31 years the Canadian Dollar traded at par with its American counterpart. After spending the late 90s and early 00s trading around 70 or 80 cents US, we are finally on an even currency field with our neighbours to the south. It seems that every major media outlet has been constantly reporting our exchange rate over the past few weeks as we inched closer and closer to that magic $1.00US mark.
On Thursday, the day we broke even (henceforth referred to as P-Day), the excitement was almost palpable as many Canadians were excited about our currency reaching that magic number. Sure there may be all sorts of frightening side effects of our currency rise such as a lessening of tourists coming north of the border and exports going south, but economic uncertainty doesn't matter because we are even with the Americans!
The Canadian psyche is such an interesting one to look at sometimes. While we have a wonderful country, and are a leading middle power (does that term even make sense?) in the world, we are very clearly the Jan Brady of the G-8. Like all good middle children, we seek and revel in any opportunity we have to look better than our older siblings.
Don't believe me? Well how much sweeter did our 2002 Gold Medal taste because we beat the States in the finals? How patriotic did you feel when the Blue Jays won the World Series? How many times do you point out that a famous actor/musician/inventor is Canadian? How many times do we try to point out the "stupidity" of Americans with such shows as Talking to Americans?
We celebrated when our hockey team won the gold, but the Americans still took home more medals than any other country during those Olympic Games. We proudly sang the national anthem as a Canadian team won the championship at the Americans National Past Time, but our "Canadian" team had no Canadian players. We proudly talk up Mike Myers, The Bare Naked Ladies, or Alexander Graham Bell, but they still did most of their best work south of the 49. We laugh at Americans for thinking that Canada is covered in snow all year, but we further our own prejudices by thinking that they are all stupid.
Our country clearly has some deep seeded insecurities when it comes to our older sibling. We always long to feel better then them at something and this is no different. We celebrate our rising dollar, but a typical American is still 20% wealthier than a typical Canadian. Once more, we celebrate a small victory but continue to loose the forest for the trees.
This story is already blowing over and unless our currency skyrockets even more, things will once more be about "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia", and we will be left looking for some other way to get our parents attention.
Until next time,